10/5/19 – Deerfield XC @ St. Paul’s School
A patchwork of autumn colors met the Deerfield cross country bus as it wended northward to St. Paul’s School on a perfect fall afternoon on Saturday. With temperatures barely inching north of the 50’s and not a breath of breeze, conditions were perfect for a crisp day of racing in Concord on St. Paul’s beautiful course. Coming on the heels of two large invitationals, a smaller meet on a cool afternoon was a welcome change, and Deerfield’s runners responded with a great day of racing and camaraderie. When all the races had been scored, Deerfield’s girls emerged victorious over the host school but lost a close battle to visiting Winsor School, and Deerfield’s boys lost to a talented St. Paul’s squad.
Saturday’s racing began with the girls’ race, and as has been her custom so far this season, DA’s own Maddie Priebe scampered to the lead right from the opening gun. Her teammates, Noelle Abeyta, Ali Thomas, and Jane Mallach formed a formidable chase pack as the runners circled St. Paul’s playing fields. Abby Fernald, back to racing for the first time this season, trailed them to round out Deerfield’s scoring five as the girls disappeared into the woods. Priebe glided untouched through St. Paul’s meandering trails, emerging with a big lead and a smile on her face to surge to the finish more than a minute ahead of her next competitor. Next out of the woods was Abeyta, returning to racing after a two-week layoff, behind by two Winsor athletes. With a determined look and a definitive move, Abeyta sped past one red-clad opponent and closed quickly on the other, ultimately coming up a mere second short of 2nd place to capture 3rd overall. Thomas wasn’t far behind, taking 6th place thanks again to a strong finish over the course’s final quarter-mile. A passel of St. Paul’s and Winsor runners crossed the line next, followed by Mallach and Fernald in 13th and 17th, respectively. A pack of four Deerfield harriers were close behind: Jean Jin, Erin Howe, Grace Russell, and Aerin Lo captured 19th through 22nd place. Aurelia Bolton closed out the racing for Deerfield with a ferocious kick in the final stretch to pass a number of competitors for 31st place.
The boys’ race unfolded gradually after a relatively pedestrian first loop around the playing fields. St. Paul’s top two runners established position at the front of the pack right away, followed by a phalanx of four Deerfield runners. Led by freshman Hudson McGuinness and Thomas Lyons, that pack of white jerseys would do battle in the trails and mostly hold their spots until reentering the field for the final quarter-mile. With first and second sewn up by St. Paul’s the race was on for third, and McGuinness and Lyons came out of the woods surrounded by red jerseys—then the fun began. Lyons dug deep and unleashed a powerful finishing kick to surge into 3rd place; McGuinness fought off a few competitors to slip across the line in 6th. Their teammate Trey Souder was right behind, finishing in 8th after running a smart tactical race. Charlie Lewis (10th) and Quinn Hampson (12th) completed Deerfield’s scoring five for the day. Deerfield’s #6 on Saturday was Giles Gordon, who enjoyed a big breakthrough, dropping his best time by more than 40 seconds. Similarly, Chris Thagard, who finished 7th for Deerfield, ran a strong early season time in his first race at St. Paul’s.
Deerfield’s JV boys delivered a number of standout performances on the day, highlighted by a handful of lifetime best times and significant breakthroughs. Freshman Joe Brown led the way, taking 19th overall, followed by Chase Cherewatti, Gabe Zaccheo, and fellow newcomer Morgan Haisman.
Next Saturday the Big Green harriers head to Loomis Chaffee School for a showdown with the host Pelicans and archrival Choate Rosemary Hall.